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BLM Issues Recommendations for Boosting Natural Resources Economy

BLM Issues Recommendations for Boosting Natural Resources Economy
Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015
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Report Offers Strategies for Boosting MI Growth, Market Position

DETROIT, Mich., July 14, 2015  —Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today released The Michigan Natural Resources Business Plan: Leveraging Our Assets to Make Michigan a Top Ten State,  showing how Michigan could better leverage its strengths in natural resources, from tourism to agriculture and beyond.

Currently, Michigan’s natural resource industries provide over 7 percent of all Michigan jobs, create over $32 billion in GDP, and account for over $400 billion in sales, according to the report. Exports of natural resource industry products from Michigan account for over $61 billion annually.

“Our natural assets are a powerful engine for economic growth,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO. “Managed responsibly, with careful attention to long-term environmental impact, Michigan has tremendous opportunities to harness these assets and share them—profitably—with the world.”

Natural resources was one of the six industry clusters identified in BLM’s New Michigan strategy as having the most potential to grow good paying and sustainable jobs in Michigan.  The BLM Natural Resources report identifies the industries within our natural resources sector with the greatest opportunity for growth, including tourism and outdoor recreation, agriculture and food processing, timber and renewable energy industries.

To better leverage these industries, the report identifies key growth strategies, including:

  • Improve public infrastructure that supports the state’s natural resources sector, most notably the state’s roads and bridges.
  • Expand and enhance tourism and outdoor recreation amenities and services—both nationally and internationally—to boost the number of visitors to Michigan.
  • Focus public and private R&D assets on making Michigan a national leader in developing sustainable products and processes.

Rothwell noted that experts in Michigan’s Natural Resource industries interviewed for this report identified infrastructure as a major need to grow agriculture and tourism in the state. “Hopefully, this adds to the urgency of finding a comprehensive, sustainable solution to our road funding needs.”

“Michigan can become a Top Ten state if we follow these and other identified strategies named in the Michigan Turnaround Plan,” Rothwell said. “We look forward to partnering with public and private sector leaders to make each of these natural resource recommendations a reality.”

The BLM business plan for natural resources was prepared in consultation with Public Sector Consultants and Sustainable Water Works.

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